The Sculptor's Cave is a sandstone cave on the south shore of the Moray Firth near the small settlement of Covesea, between Burghead and Lossiemouth in Moray. It is named after the Pictish carvings incised on the walls of the cave near its entrances. There are seven groups of carvings dating from the 6th or 7th century, including fish, crescent and V-rod, pentacle, triple oval, step, rectangle, disc and rectangle, flower, and mirror patterns, some very basic but others more sophisticated.

The cave is 20m deep and 13.5m wide with a 5.5m high roof and can be entered by two parallel 11m long passages, each 2-3m wide. It lies at the base of 30m high cliffs and is largely inaccessible at high tide.

The cave was first excavated between 1928 and 1930 by Sylvia Benton, who discovered evidence of two main periods of activity on the site: the first during the late Bronze Age, and the second during the late Roman Iron Age, between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Bell (5 months ago)
An absolutely fantastic site! An amazing snapshot of the distant past, going back several milenia. Pictish symbols, mummified remains, a Roman coin hoard. and much more.
Andrew Lawson (14 months ago)
Tried to find access to the sculptors cave from the path but unfortunately you cant access from the top. You need to walk along the shore but watch for the tide. Bit of a shame its not that accessable.
Scottish Person 2.0 (2 years ago)
Nearly killed me. Too slippery
Sonya Anderson (2 years ago)
Sshhhh
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.